- Unapologetically pro forma as it is, drum & bass has been an ideal outlet for Om Unit. It gives the Londoner a rulebook he needn't fret over, so he can get on with further refining the strongest weapon in his arsenal: sound design. Om Unit's expert way of crafting crunchy drums, tactile atmospheres, and formidable bass weight gives some extra mileage to the well-worn ideas on Inversion, his second 12-inch for Metalheadz.
"Touching Down" quickly establishes Inversion's mood. After two minutes of eerie sci-fi ambiance, clattering drums rise from the ether and a gruff MC (lifted from Goldie's sample archives, no doubt) declares before the gnarled drop, "Metalheadz touching down!" It's obvious Om Unit is thrilled to be in this zone, and that energy rarely falters. Soon after, "The War" delivers burly soundsystem armament glazed with Jehst's charming deadpan. But the song unexpectedly slips into nostalgic tedium halfway through, when a sampled diatribe against TV culture drags on for almost three minutes.
Working with lower tempos, the Vangelisian drift of "Layers" is more engaging than "The Crossing"'s half-time bass swells and R&B moans. Closer "Mystic" subtly updates a classic dubwise palette, though the second half defaults entirely on drum & bass tropes in favor of the producer's own modifications. As Om Unit has explained, his latest Metalheadz record is a "nod to [the] sound of my teenage self," and the conceit keeps Inversion teetering between refinement and indulgence.
01. Touching Down
02. The War feat. Jehst
03. The Crossing
05. Bardo Realms